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Historic dinosaur set to debut in Martinsville
Time:16-08-2016  Hits:9


                           A look at the Stegosaur when it was on display at the Smithsonian

      MARTINSVILLE-The full size cast skeleton is currently being assembled. It’s a fairly large job, with the dinosaur standing more than 8 foot tall. By this time next year, local residents will be able to see the historic Stegosaurus here in Martinsville.

       "Stegosaurus is such an iconic, recognizable dinosaur and we are extremely happy to be able to permanently display it for visitors in the near future," said Ryan Barber, deputy director of the Virginia Museum of Natural History.  "This Stegosaurus is over 8 feet tall and 17 feet long, making it a formidable presence when it is displayed in our Harvest Foundation Hall of Ancient Life."

      The skeleton has a bit of history behind it, arriving at the Smithsonian in 1917. At that time, it was only the second full size Stegosaurus on display anywhere in the world. It was a cast mold, made from the original bones. Understandably, the original bones aren’t on display, due to their age. In 2003, it came to light that the original casting effort made a few mistakes, when it came to the creature’s structure, so it was recast.

     "As more scientific evidence has been discovered over the past 100 years, our knowledge of what Stegosaurus truly looked like has greatly evolved," said Barber.  "Most notably, the tail and posture of this Stegosaurus has been re-casted to properly depict what this dinosaur truly was like millions of years ago."

     Living around 150 million years ago, the name "Stegosaurus" means "roofed lizard".  At its prime, the Stegosaurus was 30 feet long and weighed around five tons. However, despite its size, the dinosaur had a relatively small brain, around the size of a dog’s. Interesting enough, the Stegosaurus is the official state dinosaur for Colorado, one of eight states to have a dino designation. Virginia doesn’t have a state dinosaur. That doesn’t dilute any of the excitement museum staffers feel about bringing in the creature.

      “We are very grateful to the Smithsonian for offering such a fantastic specimen,” Barber said. “Stegosaurus will serve as a phenomenal addition to the museums dinosaur exhibits and it will be one of many highlights during the upcoming Dino Days festival.”

-------This article was originally published by Erica Haynes


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